Skerries v UCC – 19/9/15
Skerries 20 UCC 21
UBL Div 2a
Skerries left the North County at an ungodly hour to play their second Ulster Bank League match of the season against UCC in Cork .Skerries started brightly and after 3 mins James Faiva kicked a penalty to put the away team ahead.The game ebbed and flowed for the next 15 mins with lots of unforced errors on both sides .After 18 mins UCC had pressure on the Skerries line and from the resulting ruck a Skerries player was sin binned and subsequently the UCC fullback kicked the levelling penalty.After another period of pressure from UCC their impressive full back breached the defence to score a well worked try ,the conversation was missed and UCC now led 8-3.After another period of pressure UCC increased their lead to 11-3 with another penalty .The last 10 minutes of the first half were played in the UCC half of the pitch and Skerries were rewarded with a well taken penalty from Faiva leaving the half time score at 11-6 with everything to play for in the second half .During that first half Skerries blooded a new hooker in Andrew Reen and it was great to see his father appearing in Cork under cover , the day before his native Kerry took on the Dubs in Croke Park.
The second half started badly for Skerries as a missed kick lead to a counter attack and converted try for the home team, they now led 18 -6 .At this stage it appeared that this was going to be a long afternoon for the away team . UCC then scored a penalty after indiscipline from Skerries .they now led 21-6.
After 20 mins Skerries made several changes and the introduction of Carron ,O’Loghlen and O’Neill completely changed the game .Skerries came to life and the new centre partnership of Faiva and McGrath started to make inroads After 28 mins , an excellent Skerries lineout led to a great break by scrum half Carron which led to him scoring a try converted by Faiva, score now 21-13.Skerries were now firing on all cylinders and the passes that were going to ground were now sticking .During this period our second row Halligan, our Man of the Match, was doing an audition for Jonah Lomu on the wing with great success and after a further period of renewed Skerries pressure ,a great cross field kick from O’Loghlen led to a try for Maurice McAuley which was converted by Faiva ,score now 21-20.We now had 8 mins left with UCC out on their feet and Skerries pressing for what would have been an unlikely victory .UCC held on grimly and in the end just about deserved to win .The Skerries performance in the last 20 mins was excellent and very encouraging for the tough weeks ahead .This is a very young side but with injuries and unavailability for this match ,they stood up gamely to a physically strong UCC side .Our front row of Marry ,Leonard and Ronayne worked tirelessly against bigger and stronger opponents.It was encouraging to see the return of Matthews and Glennon to the team and another strong performance from regulars captain McAuley and O’Hare .It was good to see Jenkinson return after injury and Cauldwell and McGrath forming another new midfield partnership ,the wingers O’Mahony and Keane didn’t see that much of the ball and Maurice McAuley is settling in well at fullback .All the substitutes made a contribution .
It was good to see the usual strong Skerries support , some of our members availing of their free travel cards with Irish Rail .The team need our support next week for a crucial home match v Cashel .
14 Eddie O’Mahony
8.Ross McAuley Capt
16 Andrew Reen